What are Internet Scams?
With the advent of the internet, the existence of scammers from all over the world are using Internet businesses to contact potential victims.Â Be aware that new ideas for new schemes may be developing and vacationsbyowner.com has placed this information on our website to make you aware of our experience in recent scam attempts in the vacation rental industry.Â We monitor email activity but do not read each email before you may receive it in your inbox.Â When you receive an email that appears to be malicious, please forward the email to us so we may examine it and take measures to stop a potential scam.Â When you receive a fraudulent email, please do not be alarmed as Internet fraud attempts are numerous, but are few among the numerous inquiries you should receive.Â We encourage you to be cautious (read below) but we also want to protect your resources.
SCAMS AFFECTING PROPERTY OWNERS: Typically, a fraudulent email will be someone pretending to be a "type" of renter, travel agent, business person, preacher or other.Â Usually they claim to be visiting from the United Kingdom, Canada or Africa and request to pay by Cashiers Check or Money Order.Â The amount they claim to send is more than the rental money required, and ask for the overpayment to be sent back to the scammer.Â If the property owner sends overpayment back before the check or fraudulent money order clears, the scammer has successfully taken their money and they will not show up to rent property.Â Â It can take weeks before a fake cashiers check can be detected, but it is typically 4 to 5 days.Â Always check with your banker even if it appears on your statement that the money has cleared.
SCAMS AFFECTING RENTERS:Â vacationsbyowner.com monitors listings to the best of our ability to ensure our inventory is legitimate, but we do not meet with our advertisers/home owners or guarantee the home owners solicitations and want you to be aware of the following characteristics:
TYPICAL CHARACTERISTICS of Scammers for Renters and Owners (Proceed with Caution):
* Use broken English, misspellings, and improper use of grammar, capitalization and spacing
* Refer to their occupation or their financial status (reference their role in the government, or may pose as a doctor, wedding planner or travel agent).
* Little details of the apartment or home they wish to rent (don't reference bed types, number in party, etc.)
* Request of money back from the rental (currency miscalculation, travel agency fee, accidental overpayment....)
* Emails not completed (these scammers may wish to obtain your personal information)
* Emails requesting your banking information (Beware!)
* May not have a phone number to access the individual (which may be suspicious)
* Offer is too good to be true!
When it comes time for payment, request the exact amount or cease all conversation / emails with the renter.Â If the inquiry seems too suspicious, and causes too much time to respond, save your time for a real inquiry. Remember, there are plenty of eager travelers waiting to book your place.
Reporting Fraud / More Information
In the event that you do detect fraud or have been a victim, please use the contact information below. Also, please forward a copy of the entire inquiry and/or correspondence with that individual to us so that we may block any further emails from that address.
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
- FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov)
- Internet Fraud Information (www.firstgov.gov/Citizen/Topics/Internet_Fraud.shtml)
For more information please visit:Â home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/
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